Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Orion Constellation

Occasionally I will highlight a custom order just for fun. This particular commission was to be created after Perseus and The Pleiades, two shield pendants that were created as part of the Constellations of the Night Sky series earlier this year.

The Orion constellation was requested, with a specific highlight toward the star Rigel which sits in the lower righthand corner of the star group.

The result was an oxidized fine silver shield, sculpted and textured by hand, with a clay painted border around the edge. A cabochon of iolite was set into the bezel and gunmetal chain was used to complete the necklace.




My workspace is full of all kinds of chaos, but don't worry; you'll get to see it soon enough. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Toxic Art

Over the past decade or more, I have often stopped myself during certain stages of creation—be it in traditional printmaking, painting, developing photos, or making jewelry—and wondered if I was really being safe enough with all of these materials and chemicals. Of course, I always follow the safety guidelines, but I do not believe that following those guarantees you won't absorb some part of what you're working with.

Even in a lab or studio with a ventilation system, there were many times that I finished the day with a pounding headache, dizziness, or a sore throat. Copper etching and film developing were the most noticeable, but many other things fell in line behind those in subtle shades of gray.

It is difficult for an artist to think about squelching their creativity for safety reasons because, sooner or later, what options remain? Even so, I think it is important for artists of almost any medium to think about what they're working with and ask themselves whether they could be safer with what they're using, or whether they would want to alter their materials choices.

With my strong focus on artisanal jewelry techniques, I have had to consciously choose not just what I want to learn, but what I am willing to expose myself to. I can think of at least a couple of things that I'd love to try, but am unwilling to do more than just once in a blue moon due to the chemicals exposure.

All of this was prompted by the article Toxic Art, which is a must-read for artists in most mediums.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Things

Spring is so close I can taste it! This morning I finished removing the white LED lights which lined my living room during the dismal gray of winter. The lights were replaced by these lovely paper garlands from Dragonflies on Etsy. I love them so much that I'm trying to think of excuses to buy a few more.





I've also grown to love the look and feel of terrariums such as this one, which is made by Blithegardens. A similar jar version of their terrariums recently became a gift for a lovely friend.



What have I been up to besides craving springtime? Well, I did try my hand at enameling and fusing glass to metal clay... This was my first practice piece. :)



Saturday, March 12, 2011

BPTP Courtesans

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab offers The Courtesans, a Limited Edition Springtime Series of perfume oils, wet bath salts, and handmade cases based on various courtesans in history. It's a uniquely artistic offering with some of Beth's best perfume artistry to date. So far, my favorites are Ninon bath salts as well as the Kitty and Celeste perfume oils.

I snapped a photo of my favorites. Guess who created the bag design? ;)

Donation Receipt

The recent earthquake in Japan and Pacific tsunami prompted me to donate 50% of every March 11th jewelry sale that was made from the time of my announcement until midnight to the American Red Cross. I rounded the tally up from $129 to make an even $150 donation. Thank you so much to those who helped make this possible!

It is common for me to post a donation receipt whenever I hold an Elements & Artifacts sale to benefit a charity in some way so that my customers know that their contributions are making it to their intended destination. Personal/financial information has been cropped out but I am happy to provide a tracking code by email to any who wish to double check this receipt with ARC.



Once again, thank you so much for your help! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Rhapsody

The new jewelry is up, and I'll keep it short since my two sneak peeks were rather wordy. I have revisited the Spring Rhapsody series with new interpretations, and I have also added in the eight Anemoi Greek Wind Spirits which represent each of the cardinal and cross directional winds.

elementsandartifacts.com





Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sneak Peek! Luxe Wire Wrapping and Melded Designs

I'm offering up one more sneak peek before I release my Early Spring collection on Wednesday! It's a welcome diversion from the monotony of uploading each listing to Etsy.

As I created this collection, I noticed a theme emerge. More than usual, I found that I was reinterpreting past designs in new ways and even found myself smooshing past designs together to form a new one. Additionally, I delved further into the extra ornate wire wrapping that I began exploring with Mjollnir and Brisingamen at the very start of this year. Here are a few sneak peeks.


This first one shown is a revisit of Alfheim, the design for which I used as a bounding point for two additional designs beyond this one. Think of it as a variation on a theme. :)




This is one of those designs that ended up as a composite of my past designs. I wanted to continue exploring the wire collars that I began in January and ended up with a cross between The Queen's Astrologer, Wintervine, and (again) a center motif reminiscent of Alfheim. This is Plum Blossom!




These are two of the more ornate, art nouveau-esque wire wrapped pendants that I have set forth and plan to continue!





And lastly, I took my past hidden message pendants and added another layer to create a "book". As you flip the pages, it reads:

although only breath,
words
which I command
are immortal.
(sappho)